There are lots of activities on offer for children of all ages in Cambodia and if you are prepared for the long flight to get there, you will find it has something to keep those of all ages amused, including activities boat trips, cooking courses, cycling trips, and even quad biking!
With regard to weather, between November and March is traditionally the best time to visit Cambodia, making it a great choice for a Christmas or half-term break. From May to October the monsoon season sets in, but this certainly does not preclude travel during this time. The country is arguably at its most beautiful during this season, and the short, sharp downpours tend to be limited to a few hours each afternoon.
Furthermore, the main tourist attractions (not least Angkor Wat and the temples) tend to be much quieter during this period, providing a more pleasant sightseeing environment for you and your family.
Family activities in Cambodia
Afternoon trip to Tonle Sap & Kompong Phluk
Cycle Ride around the Baray & Angkor Thom
Spend half a day exploring the sites of Baray, Wat Suai Anthiat, Angkor Thom and Bayon by bicycle.
Sunset Quad Bike Adventure
Follow your guide into the countryside immediately surrounding Siem Reap for an insight into a different side of Cambodia seeing how local people live and taking in the rural scenery.
Top Things to Do with your Kids in Phnom Penh
Visit the Playground at Wat Phnom
A well-maintained playground with equipment for all ages sits just outside Wat Phnom, a temple on a hill known as one of the city’s landmarks. Buy some popcorn and fruit from the nearby venders to eat in Wat Phnom’s gardens but watch out for the monkeys. Although they are cute, the monkeys are can be aggressive if your children have food.
Ride an Elephant
Also at Wat Phnom, you’ll find Sambo, the hard-working elephant offering rides. You might even see him walking down along the waterfront in the afternoon in search of bananas. Bring some bananas of your own to feed him.
Explore the Royal Palace and Play Traditional Musical Instruments
Children will love walking on the silver tiles of the Silver Pagoda at the Royal Palace for the clippity-clop noises their feet make. Then explore the gardens filled with flowers and giant topiary trees carved into the shape of animals, teapots and other amazing shapes. A Buddha grotto set on the top of a small manmade hill is the perfect place for a picnic. Keep an ear open for the sound of music coming from the traditional stilt houses near the exit. For a small donation the musician will let your children play the traditional musical instruments and even give them a lesson.
Shop for Toys in the Markets
Phnom Penh has wonderful outdoor markets filled with handicrafts, wooden toys, hairclips, DVDs, children’s clothes and games. In Phnom Penh, the Russian Market, Central Market, and Weekend Night Market are all fantastic. If you’re visiting the Weekend Night Market be sure to have a picnic dinner with the other local families. Don’t worry if your children are fussy eaters – there’s a KFC stand if none of the local fare appeals to them.
Get Wet at the Phnom Penh Water Park
It’s a little run down but the Phnom Penh Water Park is well worth a visit. There are a variety of waterslides, a large jungle gym and lots of shallow areas for smaller kids to enjoy. Weekends are the best time to visit as the largest slides are typically turned off during the week. Make sure you take plenty of sunscreen as there’s not a lot of shade!
Take a Sunset Cruise
River cruises offer an interesting and amazing view of the city as you motor slowly for one to two hours along the Tonle Sap River past the Royal Palace and across to the floating fishing villages on the vast Mekong River. To arrange a cruise just head to the waterfront and look for the guys with boat signs.
Even if you don’t want to take a cruise, the riverfront esplanade in Phnom Penh comes to life in the evenings with families out walking. It’s a great place to meet local kids or watch fishermen bringing back their catches. You’ll also find food vendors selling local delicacies. Why not dare Dad to try a cricket, spider or snake?
Dig in the Sandbox at Le Jardin
Feed Fish at the National Museum
The National Museum in Phnom Penh has amazing artifacts and photographs from historical sites around Cambodia. Plus, it offers a hidden treat for children – four ponds filled with large Koi that you can feed.
Visit an Indoor Playground at Sorya Shopping Center
Sorya Shopping Center, near the Central Markets, has two indoor playgrounds, a skating rink and amusement arcade. Purchase affordably-priced toys, clothes, and DVDs at the center during your visit.